Friday, March 10, 2006

LifeStraw : Home: "Recognizing the importance of safe water in
our daily lives and the billions of people who
are still without access to these basic human
rights, LifeStraw was developed as a practical
response to the urgency, and confirm our commitment
to achieving the MDGs."

Sometimes there are things more worth pointing out than comic books.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

As with yesterday, I'm not complaining about Infinite Crisis in an "I can't believe it's not better, I'm so shocked it's crap because I had such high expectations sort of way." But what I forgot to mention was that the most recent issue ends with the Superboy of Earth Prime (really, it makes sense if you read comics that were published TWENTY YEARS AGO and not mentioned again until now) showing up wearing the Anti-Monitor's costume.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?

Because now the series has the potential to genuinely surprise me. Because if it doesn't turn out that Superboy of Earth Prime (again, twenty years ago it made sense) is possessed by the Anti-Monitor somehow, I really will be caught off guard. Because this is a story from Geoff Johns, hailed as a fantastic writer for rehabillitating Green Lantern Hal Jordan with a handy "The Devil (or Yellow Fear Alien; same thing) made me do it" excuse. So, y'know, why not go for the old possession thing again?


Having said all that, I do want to point out that I'm not saying that all Marvel and DC superhero titles are crap. Or even not of interest to me, which is a more honest evaluation. I'm expecting to keep enjoying Legion of Super-Heroes and Birds of Prey as much as I ever did, because they were good without relying on the crutch of retelling stories from the past, or bringing back old characters just for nostalgia purposes. I'm expecting good things of Hawkgirl because Walt Simonson and Howard Chaykin developed their own voices as storytellers decades ago, and proved back then that, even when working on company-owned characters like Thor, Blackhawk and The Shadow, their own voices would come shining through. And they told stories that, again, didn't rely on bringing back the past.

And Marvel? Nextwave is still great; a superhero comic that doesn't waste time being anything else than a big, action-packed, explody thing. She-Hulk? Brings back lots of stuff for the sake of nostalgia, true, but manages to tell interesting, funny stories with it, rather than, say, sticking in eight pages of lousy (but gorgeous) Captain Carrot story in the middle of an issue of Teen Titans without capturing any of the spirit of the original Captain Carrot series. Plus, Paul Smith is going to start drawing She-Hulk. (And Mary Jane Loves Spider-Man doesn't really count as a superhero book, does it?)

Beyond that, and the Dini and Morrison-scripted Batman books I mentioned yesterday, it's tough for me to imagine a new Marvel or DC series that would make me want to buy it. DC is announcing one new series after another these days, starring characters I used to love, by creators I used to like, and none of them interest me in the slightest. And I'm going to lay a chunk of the blame squarely at the feet of Infinite Crisis, for so clearly defining for me what I'm not enjoying about the comics these days.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel: "Mirrormask director Dave McKean will direct Varjak Paw, a big-screen adaptation of the kung-fu cat series by S.F. Said for the Jim Henson Co., according to The Hollywood Reporter. McKean, an illustrator turned director and frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator, will also pen the screenplay with Said.

Loved the first book--illustrated by Dave McKean--so excited to read this. (Haven't read the second book yet.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A couple of months ago, when I talked about ordering Infinite Crisis, I said up front that I was going into this with my eyes open. Being written by Geoff "Why come up with a new idea when you can just revisit a plot from 25 years ago?" Johns, who produced the silly mess, Green Lantern: Rebored, I expected it to be a lame story, and I only decided to buy it so I could be surprised by the story as I read it, instead of stumbling across spoilers on the Internet. But I said at the time that if I bought it knowing, in advance, that it would be crap, I wouldn't complain.

And I'm not going to complain, but isn't it astonishing how truly lousy it is? How everything in it completely depends on the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, how it brings absolutely no new or original ideas to the table, and at the same time completely fails to understand the point of the original? I swear, after five issues of this, and the constant reminders that we are currently smack dab in the middle of the "Hey, remember this guy?" era of comics, I can't imagine what it would take to get me to add a new DC or Marvel superhero comic to my list (a list that has seen a whole slew of DC and Marvel superhero comics taken off it in the past couple of months).

Actually, I do know what it would take: Grant Morrison and Paul Dini writing the two Batman comics, because I'm planning on getting those. But otherwise, unless it's being done by creators who have proven for a long, long time that they're capable of producing more than crap (and here, I guess I'm really only talking about Walt Simonson and Howard Chaykin on Hawkgirl) if it's a superhero comic from the Big Two, I'm just not interested any more.
Year of Superman

Maybe it's because the Superman movies and TV shows have actually tended to be better than the comics, but I'm looking forward to the new movie, and nice new DVDs of the older ones...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tod Goldberg: Letters To Parade: The Dumbest Question Of 2006: "Just wanted to make sure y'all saw that. Peter Jones, who is coming straight outta New York, which would indicate a world view larger and more varied than your common genital crab, but which, sadly is equal to or less than said genital crab, has some questions about Ang Lee and homosexuals that he just can't figure out:Brokeback Mountain's Ang Lee is the favorite to win an Oscar for Best Director [And win he did.]. How did a Chinese person gain such an understanding of homosexual American cowboys?This question represents the perfect storm of fucktardedness and therefore I'm compelled to believe that when Ed Klein and his Evil Elves of Fucktardery came across it (or created it) they deemed it the one question that would ruin my day. So much stupidity in one question! So much bias! So much jingoism!

I won't point out the obvious here...oh, fuck it, I will...Ang Lee didn't conceive of the story, the characters, the butt sex, the cowboys (or, as is being argued on, sheepherders...really, I'm not making this up...), E. Annie Proulx did, and then Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana adapted them for the screen. But let's just pretend we're Peter Jones and that we're total fucktards incapable of understanding how a Chinese person could think up such things. Here are some ideas:

1. Ang Lee also directed the Civil War film Ride With The Devil (based on a great novel by Daniel Woodrell, incidentally), which is pretty surprising because Ang Lee isn't a Civil War vet and, in fact, lived part of his life in Pinko China, and, I'm fairly certain, never once listened to a 38 Special album and thought about how cool it would be to grow up in the old South, where he would have been lynched. At any rate, the pop singer Jewel co-starred in Ride with the Devil and her longtime beau is cowboy Ty Murray. Perhaps one drunken night on the range turned into a sexual bacchanal. Perhaps Ty rode Ang like a bucking steer. Perhaps Ang woke one morning with a longing for the feel of a rawhide saddle and the touch and feel of a man. Perhaps he read the fucking short story."